We've already talked about why newsletters are perfect for growing your business. But how do you get them to sign up in the first place?
Unfortunately, people don't put their names on lists just out of the blue or just because you ask them.
And though newsletters are the perfect place to continue to tell your brand story and build person-to-person trust with your customers, neither of those things can happen if no one receives your email.
So how do you get into that inbox?
The key to growing your newsletter list is to...
givE away something of real value.
For free. No strings attached. Sign up for our email newsletter to receive _____. (The blank being relevant, valuable, desirable content.) It's as simple as that.
Ideally, your offer provides instant gratification and shows immediate value. You want your signee to be able to instantly receive what it is you've offered them and immediately be able to see the value in it. Then, you want to be able to use the new channel of communication to build your relationship with the reader and, hopefully, convert that reader into a customer down the road.
In psychology, this is called the foot-in-the-door technique. The idea is that when people agree to a small request first, they're more likely to agree to a larger request later. In this case, the small request is signing up for a newsletter – and then the newsletter provides the platform to pose a larger request (like a purchase) later.
A great example of a company using this technique is CoSchedule, a company which produces software for bloggers. CoSchedule runs a really great blog about content marketing – and nearly every posts includes something similar to these callout boxes within the first few hundred words:
"Get your free [topic of the blog post] template now!" – CoSchedule makes the value of trading your email address for a helpful template extremely visible. Nearly everything included in a download like the SEO Content Strategy Template or Blog Post Length Template is available in the corresponding article – which I'm already interested in reading (I was reading that article when I saw the free download callout) – but offering the same content in an interactive, customizable format gives both instant gratification and immediate value to the reader/customer.
But what should you offer your audience?
The answer will depend on your business and marketing strategy.
For example, we've offered free printables for signing up for our newsletter in the past. A free printable fits well with our graphic design studio expertise and allows us the wiggle room to create something entertaining or fun. Furthermore, the immediately-delivered content provides the reader with instant gratification, and the clear functionality (it's for printing!) is of immediate value to the recipient. The signee can view, download, and print the design (or set it as a desktop wallpaper) right away.
How can you make newsletter resources work for YOUR business?
The most important thing is to make strategies work for YOUR business. And not all businesses are the same!
Perhaps if you're a garden supplier, it's an ebook or checklist on the best places to plant certain flowers. If you're a restaurant, maybe it's a specially branded guide to the perfect night out tailored to your clientele, or a guide to the best local wine pairings that you offer.
What do you think? What are some of your best newsletter strategies? I'm all ears!
The key is to identify valuable content that your audience desires and provide it – while integrating your brand, brand story, and personality.
Until next time,
We're working hard to show you what five years in business looks like. Comment here or on Facebook with topics or questions you'd like to see us cover. Or maybe just links to your favorite GIFS. You can also tweet us your feedback @hootdesignco or @averyenderle, follow us on Insta, come check out our Pinterest boards, and keep up with us on BlogLovin'!